It doesn’t take long for predictions to become predictable: The rise and rise of Facebook; advancements in analytics; the normalisation of chatbots; personalisation, programmatic, automation, authenticity… The prediction that’s missing from these lists is that in 2017 we will witness a resurgence of values-based marketing.
More than ever before, Australian B2B buyers are adopting digital at every stage of the customer journey, a recent report found.
Mastering Omni-Channel B2B Customer Engagement, conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Accenture Interactive and SAP hybris, found B2B buyers now expect a seamless and consistent experience across all omni-channel touchpoints. Out of the 50 Australian companies surveyed, 41 per cent said buyers made purchases for their workplace online via a PC, smartphone or tablet device over half the time.
According to SAP hybris Asia-Pacific and Japan senior vice president, Graham Jackson, Australian B2B buyers are embracing online channels to complete workplace purchases more than ever before.
“There is growing recognition in Australia that B2B sellers need to enhance their omni-channel capabilities in order to meet buyer expectations and maintain a competitive edge,” he said. “While some Australian companies have made progress in offering digital touchpoints, most continue to find it difficult to weave them together to offer a seamless customer experience.”
Business buyers’ expectations for personalisation and excellent support – regardless of channel, device, or stage in the journey - are also rapidly evolving, and are increasingly influenced by their experiences as consumers, the report found. Almost three-quarters of all buyers surveyed agreed they receive personalised and relevant sales and marketing emails for their B2B online buying experience for work-related purchases.
Despite these trends, the report revealed most B2B enterprises are currently not set up to deliver a seamless omni-channel experience, citing ‘difficulty sharing customer data between channels or locations’ as the top barrier according to the report.
Empowered by digital channels, today’s buyers are exerting more control over the sales process, Accenture Interactive managing director and global digital commerce lead, Anatoly Roytman, said
“The stakes have never been higher for B2B sellers to create a positive online customer experience, one that is integrated with existing channels,” he added. “Those who deliver a seamless omni-channel experience will be rewarded with repeat business and loyal customers.”